Jaime Lerner (1937-2021), knew that “cities were the solution, not the problem”. So acting on cities is a smart strategy to help heal the world from some of its most acute threats. The combined success of cities and political influence of mayors reflect the fact that cities, nowadays, are an engine of economic growth and source opportunities to contribute to the solution of a great portion of the problems that challenge our societies.
Urban development, as everything in nature, follows certain rules. It is a question of time that science will find more laws about cities. In the Universe there are humans, and in those humans there is a brain. And those countless human brains have invented many things along history. Amongst those things, striking indeed for its...
The time-lapse between two disruptive innovation is shortening, the innovation pace is accelerating exponentially. The quest for new basic energy sources advances quicker than ever: wood, coal, oil, renewables, coltan, lithium… maybe data in the near future (why not?), with most of this research happening in urban innovation ecosystems.
McLuhan explains why the rise of urban middle classes are more effective to defeat dictatorships than embargos or weapons, why revolts come from cities, and why cities are are where social and political changes are baked. In this sense, cities are also liberating tools or, as McLuhan puts it “the work of cities is the translation of people to a more suitable form than of his ancestors “.
The book by William Mitchell “E-topia. Urban life, Jim – but not as we know it” was one of the first works containing the concept of Smart Cities. Mitchell, who was the Dean of the M.I.T. School of Architecture and Planning from 1992 until his death in 2010, analyzes the changes that sensors, software, mobile devices, computing and telecommunications bring to our daily life, social behavior and economics.
Jane Jacobs’s “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”, her main book published in 1961, still remains a surprising source of ideas covering a multitude of aspects that guide life in cities: the economy, security, habitat, traffic, governance, planning, participation…
No travel, no face-to-face events this spring. But we will be sharing screens and ideas anyway. In these hard times, there is a lot to be talking about on urban innovation and smart cities: data, DIY manufacturing, open challenges for recovery, start-ups.
Join us in our next talk:
June, 16th. At the Smart Cities’ Sofa Summits. Talk about “Smart City Challenges for Recovery after Covid-19”
The critics of Sidewalk Labs’s (Google’s real-estate subsidiary) project of creating a Smart City in Toronto tend to focus on its most “Orwellian” aspect: the unjustified large-scale collection of personal data. But few have remarked that housing in Google’s Smart City in Toronto project is tantamount to a swindle.
Urban data is an informal description for all the data that is collected in cities, about people or about things. It can be used to make our life better, but, as Black Mirror shows, our personal data (our “digital fingerprint”) can be used to make our life impossible, too
Amongst the “avant garde” revolutionary intellectuals, the situationists were one of a kind. Though they were few, they often were waging battles under the leadership of a young Guy Débord to surpass other contemporary movements such as letterism and surrealism. Their views on urbanism or automation were anticipatory.